by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

Where is the land
for which we fought?
We who bore the arms!
Where is the honor,
integrity, respect?
Can money be 
the only thing to
which we aspire?
Have we lost 
all dignity of which
we once desired?

Once I had trust in
mankind's better self.
I thought that if I
were honest he
would give in kind.
But now I find
to my dismay
that with my trust
he's gone astray.
He's defaulted
along the way,
so I trust no more.

I look about me
at the youth
who once were
the nation's hope.
Their boorish manners
and slovenly ways
speak not of hope
but of dismay
that brings shame
on this nation,
wasting all the 
education
that is theirs
for the taking.

They've not learned
their lessons well,
upon nonsense
do they dwell,
know too little
of the past
so of little
can they tell.
Even less
can they spell.

Perhaps I'm lucky
to be getting old.
I'll not live to behold
destruction of
the mighty mold
that is our nation.
Its morals tattered
beyond repair,
good sense battered
and in despair.
Oh, can you tell me
what's the matter?

We can no longer
walk in safety
nor are we safe
at home.
Danger lies about
everywhere we roam.

Oh, Lord,
what must we do
to put back that
which is askew
and save this
poor sick nation?
It's really up to you.

*     *     *
The author: Robert Lin Cook served with Reg. Weapons Co. (2d-2d) from 1942-44, at Guadalcanal and Tarawa during a 33-month overseas tour.

>>>  Poetry Page
>>>  Memoir Page
Is This My Land?